National Fisherman

ROCKPORT, Maine — With big money changing hands over tiny glass eels, Maine’s elver fishermen have developed a bad reputation in other Atlantic states as renegades.
 
On Saturday afternoon, state officials told a packed room of elver harvesters at the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum that they needed to change that this season so that regulators will not place drastic limitations on the fishery or shut it down altogether.
 
The most important step toward that goal will be to follow the recently set catch restrictions on the state’s 10-week elver season, which is scheduled to begin on March 22. Fishermen will be limited to a statewide harvest of 11,749 pounds, a 35 percent reduction from the amount caught in Maine last year. Some in the room called out that making individual quotas will be unfair toward the fishermen who have been working this fishery long before the price shot up as demand in Japan and China has increased. But state officials were unmoved.
 
“We’ve got to stay within our quota this year,” Terry Stockwell of the Maine Department of Marine Resources said during the first meeting of the Maine Elver Fishermen Association at the Samoset Resort. “We’ve got to demonstrate to the [Atlantic States Marine Fisheries] Commission that we’re not a renegade fishery.”
 
Col. Joseph Fessenden of the Maine Marine Patrol then told the assembly of fishermen that they could all help make or break the lucrative fishery. In the last few years, the average price fishermen have received for the catch has skyrocketed from less than $100 per pound to more than $1,800 per pound in 2012 and 2013, making it the state’s second most valuable fishery.
 
“Anybody that’s helping poachers could shut this fishery down,” he cautioned them.
 
Some of the fishermen in the room told officials that they would take those words seriously. Very seriously.
 
“Every fishery has unwritten rules. This year, they’re going to be enforced,” Perry Cloak, an opinionated elver harvester from Trenton, said. “If the lobstermen have unwritten rules — why can’t we?”
 
Read the full story at the Bangor Daily News>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
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Inside the Industry

NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.

First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.

Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.

Read more...

Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.

Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.

Read more...
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